ABU DHABI: There’s a definite trend away from carbon based energy with financial communities behind clean green, not just globally, but also in the Middle East, where the biggest challenge – and main topic of discussion at the Global Financial Forum in Abu Dhabi ( GFMF) held in UAE last Month – was thought to be low oil prices.
However, although the price per barrel was low, the overall cost had not dipped enough to affect investments. This is typical of the new, sustainable way of investing. Financial and Government bodies, including equity sponsors, debt capital markets and institutional investors are all thinking differently now they’re working with renewable energy and the long-term, lower-risk cash flows produced. These days’ environmentalists (known as ‘transformers’) have real clout with financiers and can sway decisions away from consumer profit and loss towards the bigger picture – energy security, carbon reduction targets and the desire to provide off-grid solutions to poorer nations.
Globally there are many success stories – with revenues from utility-scale storage expected to grow from $231 million in 2016 to $3.6 billion by 2025, 30% more wind and solar installations worldwide than last year, China quadrupling renewable targets in 2015 and India announcing deals worth $100 billion.
In the Middle East, one of the region’s biggest banks, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), have pledged $10 billion to environmentally sustainable activities over the next 10 years. This year the bank updated the report it commissioned last year with the University of Cambridge, PwC and Masdar, to evaluate renewable energy trends from 2015 to ’16 and look at the challenges and opportunities for using that money.
The 2015 report saw the developing world attract greater capital flow into clean energy than the 30 OECD member countries – and this year’s report saw renewables advancing much faster than expected, with, locally, Abu Dhabi financing a 350 MW project and Dubai tendering one of the world’s largest renewable energy assignments in the world today. Another very positive – and huge – move is the Emirate’s commitment for a massive 75% clean energy by 2050. This will change the face of their skyline forever, requiring, as it will, that all rooftops have solar panels. As the report went to press it had the hottest news ever; a new world record for solar at 5cents per KW Hr- and that was in Dubai.
Financial communities all over the globe, and in the Middle East, are making real strides in the race for a greener, more sustainable planet. And that’s something we can all be very happy about, because there’s no place like home.
The preceding was sponsored content by the National Bank of Abu Shabi.